Ex-Leeds United & Sunderland striker David Healy addresses Grimsby Town links with 'bigger level' admission

Former Leeds United striker David Healy is the current favourite for the Grimsby Town job
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Former Leeds United striker David Healy has played down links to the Grimsby Town managerial vacancy and insists his concentration is 'solely' on managing Linfield. Healy emerged as the bookmakers favourite to become the next manager of the League Two side on Monday. The Mariners parted ways with Paul Hurst at the end of October following a 1-0 defeat to Doncaster Rovers which left them 21st in the table.

Healy spent three years at Elland Road between 2004 and 2007, joining from Preston North End in October 2004 on a four-year deal after Leeds had seen a number of bids turned down for the former Northern Ireland international.

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The 44-year-old played 121 times for the Whites, scoring 31 goals and providing seven assists during his time in West Yorkshire. He left in 2007 following the club's relegation to League One and joined Premier League side Fulham before joining Sunderland and then Rangers. He retired with Bury in 2013.

He was appointed manager of NIFL Premiership side Linfield in October 2015, a role he has held since. He has managed over 400 games and won the league title five times while also winning the Irish Cup twice. He is currently odds-on favourite to take over at Grimsby but insists he is only focused on his job with Linfield.

"I was surprised, to be honest,” he told UTV Sport about the links to Grimsby ahead of Tuesday's 2-1 League Cup win over Belfast rivals Glentoran. “I've always said and will continue to say that I've a big job here at Linfield.

"It's a privileged role I'm in. I've been loyal for the eight years I've been here in terms of the hard work and honesty and hopefully success I've brought here, so it came as a surprise to me. I got a few messages last night and more this morning from people reading into whatever it is. My concentration solely is on managing Linfield."

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Healy is well versed with the EFL, having spent the majority of his playing career in England and admits that moving back across the Irish Sea as a manager is a future ambition of his.

"The timing has to be right of course,” he added. “I'm under contract for another year after this one. Eventually do I want to manage at a bigger level or better level possibly across the water? Of course, everybody does. In any job role you go into you want to improve, get better and get to the top of the business you go into. I'm privileged and I love managing this football club. It means a great deal to me."